When Introverts Take Over The World

Here’s something I’ve never done before. I’m going to give my thoughts on a book that I haven’t read yet. It’s a book that was recommended to me very highly though, and it looks like something I’ll eat up.

quiet book

Okay, so why do I think I’ll absolutely love Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain?

Because I, Merry Farmer, am a closet introvert.

Yes, it’s true. I may love talking and I especially love blogging and posting on Facebook and talking to everyone from here and yon on social media, but honestly, most of the time if you run into me face-to-face, I will clam up like a wallflower at a ball. In fact, I felt ridiculous at the RWA conference in Atlanta this past summer because every time I met someone who I have chatted with profusely online, I couldn’t think of a thing to say. And did I go looking for people to hang out with after hours? No! I went back to my hotel room—in a different hotel from the conference, mind you—and read.

And this is exactly why Quiet came highly recommended to me. Because apparently it deals with the topic of introverts and social media. From what the person who had read the book was telling me, social media and the ability to communicate with people from the comfort of our own home is what is going to enable introverts to take over the world!

You know what? I can believe it! As a closet introvert, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than having to get out there, shake hands and kiss babies. I have never felt easy in crowds, especially if I had to dive into them to, oh, promote a book, for example. I think I could handle a book signing, because there would be a lovely table between me and the room. For that same reason I have no problem teaching classes. But schmoozing? No.

Now, some of you who know me and have been around me when we’re in crowds at conferences and things are probably saying “Psht! Come on! I’ve seen you chat for an hour with a random person!” Ah, yes, but the key there is singular: person. Or small number of people. It’s the big meet-and-greet that skeeves me out.

You too? Does this sound familiar? Crowds and loud places and parties are not your idea of a good time, but small get-togethers and private conversations sound awesome? Yep, you might be an introvert. Fortunately, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I love the way that the Meyers-Briggs personality test describes it. The first letter of your four-letter personality type is either I or E for introvert or extrovert. This doesn’t mean that you are either a hermit or a whore though. What it indicates is how you recharge your battery, what refreshes and rejuvenates you. My sister-in-law is an E. She starts to go crazy if she hasn’t been out to see friends for a while or gone to a big social gathering.

I don't care if it is the Middle Ages.  Too many people!

I don’t care if it is the Middle Ages. Too many people!

Me? If I go out after dark two nights in a row, by the third day I want to crawl into a hole and shake my fist at the world. I need my me time. And nothing is so attractive to me as a big, warm bed and 10 hours to stay in it. But as I mentioned, I really love blogging and posting to Facebook and generally having a grand old virtual time.

As it was explained to me, this book, Quiet, is for people like me. People like us. It’s about how modern technology has opened up the world for us. Frankly, I’m eager to read all about it. I do think we’re in a whole new world. The paradigm has definitely shifted. Fortune favors the brave, but now you can be brave without being outgoing. You can take on the world from your living room. It’s awesome!

This is exactly the world for me. Not only does my Meyers-Briggs personality type say so (I’m an INFJ), my star chart says so too. Yes, astrology. I am a Cancer sun with a Leo moon and Aquarius rising. My rising Aquarius means I want to go out and take on the world, but my Cancer sun says I want to stay at home while I do it, and my Leo moon means that secretly I want everyone to pay attention to me without looking at me. Ha! (I don’t actually put much weight in astrology, but it sure is fun!)

I’ll let you know what the book really says as soon as I read it. But what do you think? Are you an introvert? Do you think the world is becoming more friendly towards introverts?


12 thoughts on “When Introverts Take Over The World

  1. I read this book when it first came out. I absolutely loved it. It made me realize that a lot of the things that I thought were “wrong” with me are normal and perfectly okay. Of course, I forget that a lot, so maybe I should go re-read this book…

    She also has a TED talk that’s pretty awesome.

  2. you totally sound EXACTLY like me. I would LOVE to have the company of friends, or at conferences have some people to hang out with and have fun. But what do I do? I am an uncomfortable wall flower who thinks I stick out like some strange growth on the side of someone’s face and everyone’s looking at me. And when I am with someone in person, whom I’ve known and chatted with profusely…or even coworkers whom I consider friends for the last 8 years, there’s still that uncomfortable silence where I don’t know how to fill it, even though it’s probably not necessary to fill. Sometimes I hate the way I am. I REALLY wish I had friends to hang out with. But then, there’s those times that even at home with my family and I just want to be alone. :/

    I’ve had someone recommend that book to me, too. I think it was after I shared her TED talk on FB. Though, I’ve yet to find it and read it. Something about non-fiction doesn’t allow me to escape. And escape my reality most times is what I want to do. Maybe one day. If you ever read it and want to lend it out, maybe I’ll take you up on that 😛

    • I actually enjoy a little non-fiction from time to time. It’s a great refresher between two novels.

      The thing that trips people up with me and that uncomfortable silence is that for me it’s not all that uncomfortable. My mind tends to drift … A LOT. Like, I’ve had people genuinely afraid that I had suddenly lost my mind in the middle of a conversation with them because I’ve gone non-responsive. Also why I don’t enjoy drinking all that much. I’m spacy enough already! 😉

  3. First of all , I am a Caesarean, late emerging.

    Seriously, most authors are introverts. But when they publish they become public figures. This causes most authors great conflict. You do an amazing job of promoting your books and craft, going outside of your comfort zone.

  4. Reblogged this on Rakes Rogues and Romance and commented:
    This is me to a Tee. I am a blabbermouth on social media, but put me in a room full of people I don’t know and you wouldn’t know I’m there. I’m quiet and introverted. But once I get to know you..yea back to talking up a storm.
    How about you? Are you always the life of the party no matter how well you know the company? Or do you need to know your audience?

  5. I’m an early introvert who learned to be an extrovert by age 12. Now I can walk in both worlds. But meet me and nobody would ever know. I’m usually the one making the introverts feel comfy, smile and get them to talk to new people.

    There is nothing wrong with any introvert. I have many, many, MANY friends who are introverts. It’s hard for them to talk to strangers, or anyone outside of an intimate circle.

    And frankly, I’m glad there is a book to help any introvert realize, we need you as much as you need extroverts 🙂

  6. The first time I saw http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html I cried my eyes out. I cried like a baby for half an hour. Why? Relief. I finally got proof I’m ok. It was ok to be me just the way I am. It only took 30 years to get there but hey – I’m not complaining. 🙂 I’m an introvert and now I feel comfortable being that way. Put a keyboard in front of me and I’ll type my heart away but room full of people… It’s till a scary thing for me. However, I’m a teacher by profession and every time I walk into a classroom (I work with adults) I go out of my comfort zone and I put on a performance for my students to get the best possible results. So there is a way to be both an introvert and a practiced extrovert when I need to pull that to do my job – it only takes time and a lot of practice. But it just such a great relief to know it’s perfectly fine to be an introvert. 🙂 Thanks for a great post – it’s good to spread to word!

  7. Introvert here, too. I can write page long emails and then sit and try to talk to the same person & just clam up.
    I don’t mind parties, so long as the music’s good: you don’t need to talk to people if you’re dancing (& people think you’re outgoing).

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